I was in Buford last week working with a new Home Dog Training client and his Yorkie named Suzie. Suzie had some bad habits like running out the door whenever anyone opened the front door, jumping on the furniture, and stealing stuff like food and fuzzy slippers. We let Suzie know that she needed to obey and respect my client and not do these things. She quickly understood and the issues were resolved. As we were finishing up, a neighbor stopped by to borrow some yard tools. Seeing that I was a dog trainer, he had a question. They were thinking about getting a dog for Christmas and had gone to several pet stores as well as the Dawson County Humane Society. His wife liked the idea of getting a puppy at a pet store, but he felt that rescuing would be a great thing. He asked for my opinion.
I made no bones about it and directly told him that I am a firm believer in dog adoption. Robin and I have six dogs at home and they are all wonderful, loving, and fun. They are all rescues and all would have been put down or abandoned if we had not intervened and taken them in. All of our dogs, like all the other thousands of rescue dogs that we have trained, seem to have a special bond with their owners. In my opinion, it appears that they knew the perilous position they were in and the wonderful life that their new owner has provided. They have finally made that long journey home.
I then went on to “click” off some of my reasons for adoption and pet peeves about puppy stores;
- In my opinion, the best time to get a dog is when they are between one and two years old. They have already been potty trained and have made it through their teething. Their “puppy craziness” has left, but they are still full of energy and excitement. They are also probably well on their way to being socialized with the world around them. Although they may have some bad habits, they are still young and easily redirected in the right direction.
- When it gets right down to it, buying a puppy is expensive. Most puppy stores will charge you between $1,000 and $5,000 for a puppy. Normally between eight and sixteen weeks old, they are still prone to many puppy diseases that are often fatal. That money can go a long way to paying for your rescue dog’s food, vet bills and training for the better part of his entire life.
- Puppy Stores get their puppies from Puppy Mills. Puppy Mills are inhumane, horrible places. One of our rescue dogs came from a Puppy Mill and it took us three years to re-socialize him from the trauma he experienced. We hear many people try to rationalize their decision to buy a puppy from a puppy store by saying “They are rescuing it from the store”. This is hogwash. Their purchase is money in the puppy store’s pocket and only continues the store’s ability to buy more puppies from the puppy mills and extend the vicious circle.
- You often have a better opportunity to understand the temperament and character of a rescue dog. When you go to the Humane Society or many Rescue Groups, you can see the dogs in their natural groups interacting and playing. You can see if the dog is dominant and assertive or passive and quiet. Instead of being in a little cubicle in the pet store, you are often out in a large, enclose area interacting with the dog and having time to build a relationship.
- The only requirement you have in purchasing the puppy from a puppy store is cash. They don’t care if your home is right for the dog or the environment is safe. Rescue Groups send out professionals to examine your home to see if it is appropriate for the dog before you are allowed to take him home. I did this for many years for one of the local Rescue Groups. This ensures a good fit and guarantees a long and bonding relationship between you and your new doggie.
- You are not getting “Show Quality” when you buy a puppy from a pet store. Even though they may provide you with “AKC certified papers”, that doesn’t mean that your new puppy is show quality. At best, you will be receiving a dog that is pet quality. I have often scene that puppy store puppies, once grown, have little resemblance to the dog the owner believed they were purchasing. When you rescue a one-year-old dog from the Humane Society or a Rescue Group, you know what you are getting.
I want to step back a moment and comment on my description of a dog being “pet quality”. 99% of all dogs are pet quality. They can still look just like the picture of their breed that you pull off the internet. They can be beautiful, strong, healthy, and well-tempered. They just don’t have that exacting set of characteristics that are required for the show ring. Unless you looked very carefully and it was pointed out to you, you would never be able to tell the difference between a show quality and pet quality dog. It often comes down to a small spot on the chest or the snout is ½ inch too long.
Please call us at (770) 718-7704 it you are in need of any dog training help. We have a lot of good dog training advice at Best Dog Trainers Buford Georgia. Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Buford Georgia.